The Rape Allegations Against Assange

A reasonably full account of the allegations of “rape” against Assange is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

The complaints were made very late in the day and I would be unwilling to convict anyone of the basis of what is in the newspaper.  I reminded of much said on Ambush Predator over the last year.  False complaints are a massive problem throughout our legal systems, not least for genuine victims and those subject to false complaints.  Frankly, I don’t find myself attracted to relationships that need a condom, but many are less particular then me.  I’m afraid I can’t suffer such humiliations as a partner sleeping her way through most of the process either.

Maybe there is actual evidence of a forensic nature, but the newspaper stuff leaves me feeling threatened, not about sexual encounters, but other ways one can be set up.  I’ve seen quite a lot of this in our court systems, which cope with it badly.  Has the media coverage already made it impossible to give Assange a fair trial, as in previous claims of trial by media?

I begin to suspect on hearing he seems to have ripped the same set of clothes off one woman twice and yet stayed at her flat for another week.  Given what we can’t get to court, I don’t think any CJS should be into this one.  Maybe there are bags of ripped clothes and reasons these women couldn’t manage to say ‘fuck off you pervert’ and get him to book into a hotel?  I somehow doubt it.

On the lack of facts

http://bankbabble.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/apathetic-violence/

I watched John Pilger‘s film ‘The War We Don’t See’ (ITV player) and episode 103 of the Keiser Report (Russia Today) earlier this week.  The first pitched the line that we are always at war and governments and journalists collude to prevent us knowing what is really going on.  RT reminds me of the old Radio Moscow, though without the ludicrous propaganda phrases that made me laugh as a kid listening with my elder brother.  Yet its language on the financial crisis, in a bad show, is refreshing.  The idea in the Keiser Report is that fraud has become the business model, and that fraud squared is how it is all being covered up.

What is easy to say, is that we should, in social democracy, be making our own minds up on the facts.  Almost no one disagrees with this, yet the extent to which we ever do, or even can as a populace is very doubtful.  Banksidebabble, linked at the top of the page, ascribes this to people not being able to think beyond their own interests and, if you like, when these interests are threatened with a slap in the face with a wet fish.  That the media doesn’t put facts before us so we can make up our own minds, whether we are watching Pilger, Keiser, BBC lickspittles, Murdoch’s toadies, reading newspapers or listening to Radio 4, surfing the net or whatever, is utterly obvious.  That claims to the opposite are often made by bureaucrats of reporting rules and duties is disturbing.  Most academic material is really only polemic disguised.

Very nasty fascism took over Germany when it was the most educated, cultured and scientific nation (and a democracy).  We like to think we are beyond such nonsense, yet we are as far now from an open society as when Karl Popper wrote about its enemies (around WW2).  Spinoza once called politics the art of survival amongst ignorance, in a statement much like Banksie’s.  In all this, we are confronted with something similar to a response cop, trying to make sense of multiple claims being made in a dispute, or a detective trying to find evidence amongst those set on concealing it.  Often, the very people doing the investigations are the vested interests themselves, or highly subject, like journalists, to reporting what the interests say (the lobby, being embedded and so on).

One might say, that the Lakatosian legal-commercial paradigm in the West has become decadent (articles in the Harvard Law Review etc.) – but what’s the point of that kind of intellectual argument?  We need something we can drive!  The biggest fact we seem to miss is that life could be much easier than it is, with much less work and that we are screwing even this up with ideologies suited to the days of spades rather than tractors.  The big fact on street protest and the ‘militarisation’ of our cops is that our society is so dud we need either.

Reflections

Coppers (C4) finally fizzled out with cops trying to keep two sets of clowns apart  whilst protesting in Bolton.  The series was ‘Gadget with pictures’ and just made me wonder what a hopeless plight we put them into.  One could bicker over some of the police behaviour, but the key thing surely is we need to put society right, and its failures in that that lead to so much police time being wasted.  The BBC’s ‘Accused’ series is making more telling comments on the legal system through drama.

WikiLeaks has been of some interest.  The MadDinnerjacket has proclaimed it a CIA plot.  One declines alignment with him, but it is deeply suspicious that the emerging gossip tells such obvious stuff as China wanting to get rid of North Korea and various juntas in the Middle East want Iran bombed back into the Stone Age – all somewhat in line with US foreign policy.  We surely know already that diplomatic language has little to do with what the power-interests involved think and say behind the scenes.

A mate in the States tells me the only thing keeping the US going is the ability to buy Chinese crap in WalMart, and they have made serious acquisitions here since ASDA .  How lucky we may be!  I no longer buy much in shops and get what we need via Internet people, other than petrol for the car.  My business comes that way too, and in a couple of years expect to have enough to live in a warm country as an ex-pat away from whatever happens here.  I’d stay if I found more than a few bloggers interested in real change.

We’ve done the Dunkirk thing in the cricket.  Pity the Aussie Dollar is so strong.  I’d like to go and fly the flag.  I can watch it on my laptop on deserted Portuguese beaches or bars, laughing at memories of politicians claiming to be pulling off economic miracles, before it all goes belly-up. ‘Think not what your country can do for you’ seems good advice, especially when it’s broken.

ConDoomed looks as bad as the last lot, and it must be clear they all sing from the same economic spreadsheet.  Hang on for the private sector cavalry if you must.  I’m private-sectoring my way out.  With luck, England will get the World Cup and I’ll not have to pay extra tax.  The Dutch have worked out it will be a net cost, not gain, and they always were better at commerce than us.

I wonder if the fact there is no proportional politics in Britain leads to lunacy like protesters being put into corrals a few yards apart in a Northern ghost town for a couple of hours, with 72 arrests and apparently few convictions.  The town was shut to denizens for 24 hours.  Even the Swedes have anti-immigration party representatives in their parliament.  I guess you have to have suppression before protest on the street is ‘necessary’?  And we have to ask where the public dialogue is and note how farcical it is to have to deploy massed police because we can’t manage a peaceful public forum.

I’d guess our public dialogue has reached the point Wittgenstein found in philosophy.  The same old problems are defined and they are not solved.  Maybe it’s time to dissolve them and try to find out what really needs doing?  I feel ashamed we have to ask police officers to do the drunken mile and protests like this one.  It was rarely part of the job 30 years ago and now seems routine.

The reason I want to go is to do with feeling no one really wants to change anything, just get into positions to control money, power and influence.  FIFA may be a good metaphor.  The questions on their corruption are put to those likely to be corrupt.  I thought they looked like ‘The Sopranos’.  The expenses scandal revealed more crooks per capita in Parliament than the general population.  We have the technology for wide, public scrutiny and transparency, but instead allow secrecy, self-regulation and authorities so arrogant they dismiss criticism and don’t even deign to respond.  Instead, we are abusing our police, putting them in a line of fire politicians should be taking and answering.  The correct answer on corruption from FIFA would be, ‘here are our transparent accounts’, something Enron actually got away with because it’s so easy to produce bent ones that look OK.  If we demand transparent accounting, firms just move to where none is needed, like FIFA.

Everywhere, of course, most of us are given no share in control of the means of production, or the investigation that could lead to fair evidence. This isn’t good.

Britain on D Notice – maybe we should get the F?

Wikileaks has been a disappointment.  It’s all a bit like the Telegraph with the ‘expenses CD’.  We surely know the Sunni hierarchies supported by the West would like Iran taken out of the power picture in their region.  And we should know enough of how language works to understand what is said behind the scenes is a lot different to public diplomatic language.    Our Government has been issuing D notices to try and stop embarrassing publications in our own press, despite the fact we should be able to go directly to Wikileaks to find out the Yanks don’t think much of Cameron, compared to those like Blair and Mandelson who look like their placed men.

Our civil servants have been in print for more than a century, telling us about ‘diplomacy as war by other means’, ‘statistics as misleading dross’, and how to reveal nothing to the public in long statements.  Goffman, an easy sociological read, sums a lot of it up and his work is from the 1950-60 era.

As a public, we should really be failing ourselves as largely uneducated, if we think any media frenzy on Wikileaks is any more than a distraction from the dirty reality of politics and the lack of any really free comment.  All of what Wikileaks is hyping-up will turn out to have been discussed and modelled in serious books and journals.  We just don’t read.